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Dr. James D. Watson Resigns

October 25, 2007


Hat tip NY Times

James D. Watson, the eminent biologist who ignited an uproar last week with remarks about the intelligence of people of African descent, retired today as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island and from its board.

In a statement, he noted that, at 79, he is “overdue” to surrender leadership positions at the lab, which he joined as director in 1968 and served as president until 2003. But he said the circumstances of his resignation “are not those which I could ever have anticipated or desired.”

Dr. Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, and later headed the American government’s part in the international Human Genome Project, was quoted in The Times of London last week as suggesting that, overall, people of African descent are not as intelligent as people of European descent. In the ensuing uproar, he issued a statement apologizing “unreservedly” for the comments, adding “there is no scientific basis for such a belief.”

But Dr. Watson, who has a reputation for making sometimes incendiary off-the-cuff remarks, did not say he had been misquoted.

You can read the rest of the article here.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2007 5:44 pm

    Good riddance to racist rubbish.

    Good to see you back posting. 🙂

  2. Submariner permalink
    October 26, 2007 9:31 am

    How do we ever get to the core of racism and have a substantive, open ended conversation about race if we simply engage in massive retaliation against the few whites who make thoughtless utterances? I wish we could take the lead and use these high profile cases to get whites to take ownership of their belief system, acknowledge its errors and permutations, and make structural changes independent of the particular individual who ignited the furor. What goes on now causes whites to build resentment and suppress their views which come to life in toxic but ethereal ways which are not amenable to being caught by the race police. What have we gained from the removal of Dr. Watson? Will this lead to more black Ph.Ds? What is intelligence? Why and how do we measure it? And what is its relationship to existing hierarchy? Current stentorian politcal discussions never raise these questions.

  3. November 1, 2007 9:26 pm

    Missing your new posts.

  4. rene permalink
    November 9, 2007 2:34 pm

    Good. Go rest your old bones Dr. Watson.

  5. November 12, 2007 5:07 pm

    I’m all for academic freedom, but for a scientist, a geneticist to spout this garbage…. good riddance. If there is a failure in aid to Africa it is a lack of intelligence in the west, which seems be possessed of a zeitgeist supporting the idea that corn will solve the dilemma of a paucity of institutions and the pangs of post colonialism.

    I just wanted to leave a comment that wouldn’t damage your post grad reading level

  6. November 13, 2007 7:38 pm

    Good now he can slither away back to mediocrity.

  7. November 29, 2007 10:29 pm

    Miss your new posts.

  8. December 12, 2007 2:00 pm

    You’ve got to post on this.

    Old Boy, if he had been born in the American South, would have been classified as Negro.

    DNA don’t lie…BWA HA HA HA HA

    Did you see this?

  9. V.E.G. permalink
    February 20, 2008 5:50 pm

    Thankfully, Watson resigns. It is uncalled for what he did in racial terms. Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis himself is 3/20ths of 1% percent black due to his 8th great-grandfather William Grinstead (of Caucasian ancestry) and Elizabeth Key (of African and Caucasian ancestry). Versluis is now rolling over his grave because of Watson’s offensive comments!

  10. V.E.G. permalink
    October 10, 2008 10:32 pm

    Here is an explanation of the several descendants of Grinsteads:

    Krista Allen:
    William Grinstead marriage to Elizabeth Kay (Key), an African-European American-William Grinstead II-William Grinstead III-John Grinstead-Richard Grinstead-Richard Grinstead II-Elizabeth Grinstead-Elizabeth Jane King-Bertha Blanche Simmons-Mary Elizabeth Nolan-Katherine Mary Raposa-Krista Allen

    Johnny Depp:
    William Grinstead marriage to Elizabeth Kay (Key), an African-European American.-William Grinstead II-William Grinstead III-John Grinstead-Philip Grinstead-Philip Wade Grinstead-Christopher Tompkins Grinstead-Roy Grinstead-Violet Grinstead-John Christopher Depp-John Christopher Depp II

    Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis:
    William Grinstead marriage to Elizabeth Kay (Key), an African-European American.-William Grinstead II-William Grinstead III-John Grinstead-Jesse Boles Grinstead-Jesse Boles Grinstead II-Jesse Boles Grinstead III-John Thomas Grinstead-Clara May Grinstead-Bonnie Bell Martin-Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis

  11. V.E.G. permalink
    November 6, 2008 5:25 pm

    Jesse Boles Grinstead-Jesse Boles Grinstead II-Jesse Boles Grinstead III should have been just Jesse Grinstead-Jesse Grinstead II-Jesse Boles Grinstead.

  12. May 7, 2013 7:27 am

    Thank you for the brilliant post . Will now more stop by. Greetings from Cologne

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